The Lotus E23 Hybrid showed strong potential on Austrian GP practice day

Jolyon Palmer drove in Romain’s car for FP1, setting a time just four hundredths of a second off Pastor’s session best.

Lotus F1 Team enjoyed a strong opening day for the Austrian Grand Prix with Pastor Maldonado ending the day as the fourth fastest driver. Pastor set a 1min 09.914secs lap during the course of his 44 laps in the afternoon, whilst Romain posted the seventh fastest time. Jolyon Palmer drove in Romain’s car for FP1, setting a time just four hundredths of a second off Pastor’s session best.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director - Technical programme notes

• Both cars ran aero, set-up and tyre performance evaluation programmes in the first session, including high fuel runs for brake evaluation.

• The second session saw further tyre evaluation and long runs.

• Pirelli’s soft (yellow) compound tyre was used in the morning session, the soft, super soft (red) in the afternoon.

Jolyon Palmer, E23-04

Free practice 1: P14, 1:12.050, 27 laps

Jolyon: “It was a good session. There were no real dramas but I had to stop slightly early as I had a flat spot on the front tyres, which was a shame. It’s a great track to drive an F1 car; it’s just a short lap but there’s plenty to do and I was able to push. Overall I am happy with my session and I’m looking forward to seeing how the team performs over the rest of the weekend."

Romain Grosjean, E23-04

Free practice 2: P7, 1:10.267, 38 laps

Romain: “The car felt good, but we’ve still got some work to do ahead of the race and qualifying. The balance wasn’t quite where I wanted for my fastest run on the super soft so we’ve got some progress to make for qualifying. Pastor went well in the same conditions, so we can see there’s pace to be found. For the race we’ve got to work on some of the set-up but there is good potential for the weekend ahead.”

Pastor Maldonado, E23-03

Free practice 1: P12, 1:12.004, 34 laps
Free practice 2: P4, 1:09.914, 44 laps

Pastor: “I had a positive day and it’s enjoyable to drive the E23 around this circuit. The day was pretty straight-forward actually. We had no dramas so we were able to work through our programme and make good progress. I think there is still some potential for more pace from the car and then we should go well tomorrow and in the race. I’m looking forward to it.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “A good, productive day for us. Jolyon flat-spotted a tyre and we had to bring in Romain for some work on his brakes, but other than that it was very much a routine Friday. We focused more than usual on heavy fuel running in the morning and worked further on this in the afternoon. All three drivers gave positive feedback about the car and Romain has a little more pace to come on the super soft tyre with a tweak to the balance, so we have a strong basis looking to the rest of the weekend.”

Lotus F1 Team

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Austrian GP
Sub-event Friday practice 2
Track Red Bull Ring
Drivers Pastor Maldonado , Romain Grosjean , Jolyon Palmer
Teams Lotus F1 Team
Article type Practice report